New Engineering Main Agreement

New engineering main agreement

Key points

* Wages:

2008 – Rate A


2008 – Rate H


2009 – Rate A


2009 – Rate H


Companies must submit applications for wage increase exemptions to the bargaining council by August 12 2007 and July 31 in 2008 and 2009

* Severance pay

5-10 years completed service

1 weeks ex gratia payment

11-15 years completed service

2 weeks ex gratia payment

16 or more

3 weeks ex gratia payment

If an employer is retrenching for financial reasons, s/he can apply for exemption from paying the ex gratia payment.

* Leave enhancement pay (bonus)If workers are on legal strike the shifts that they worked will be counted as if they were at work. Companies must submit applications for exemptions before October 31.

* Parties to discuss a new grading structure including the collapse of Grades G and H into F.

* Allowances

Dirty work allowance

60c per shift

Subsistence allowance up

R65 per day

Tool insurance


Afternoon shift allowance


* Job creation committee to be established to see how best to create new jobs

* Parties to finalise Numsa training demands by June 30 2010

* Main agreement must apply to all labour brokers in the industry. Workers have the right to go on strike over the introduction of labour brokers if they follow all LRA strike procedures.

* HIV/Aids – parties will launch an educational campaign on how employees can access government’s ARV programme and investigate bringing clinics to suitably equipped companies.

* Research into medical aid for all workers to be continued.

* Notice of termination:

6 months or less with employer

1 week’s notice

More than 6 months, up to 1 year

2 week’s notice

1 year or more

4 week’s notice

* Maternity leave of 6 months fully paid from sick pay fund; employer to claim

* Companies encouraged to set up employee share ownership schemes (Esops)

Engineering surplus – still uncertainty!The process of trying to hand out the surplus to members and past members of the engineering retirement funds continues to produce complications.Remember that the High Court ruled that the engineering funds must fall under the Labour Relations Act.However soon after, the Financial Services Board (FSB) that had lost the case then proceeded with amendments to the Pensions Fund Act (PFA). If these amendments are passed, and they could become law from October 1, they will make the engineering funds follow the same rules.At an engineering funds meeting on July 23, parties agreed to:

Take the current scheme of distributing the surplus to the bargaining council and get the department of labour (DOL) to gazette it.
After gazetting the scheme, distribute the surplus as per the original plan.

However, the FSB could interdict the funds or DOL might not gazette the scheme and say that the funds must instead wait until the PFA is amended and then follow the PFA. Watch this space!

Have your say! Numsa’s engineering sector coordinator responds to concerned members:”I am not happy, it looks like we have wasted our time. We all agreed on 10% ‘Do or die!’, now we settle for 8% and 9%. Numsa can improve in consulting members.” Thandazile Blose, Ethekwini local

Thulani Mthiyane responds:The initial decision taken at the National Bargaining Conference was for engineering to demand R10 for the lowest grades and R5 for the highest grades.After 6 rounds of negotiations we reported back to the NEC that we had not moved from the R10 and R5 demand. Employers’ offer on wages was at 6,5% and 7,5%. NEC took a decision to review this demand of R10 and R5 and demand a 15% increase.When the second NEC was convened, employers were at 7,8 and 8,8%. Numsa was still at 15%. NEC took the following decision to give employers two options. Regions after various regional shop steward councils confirmed we could propose these two options:

demand 9% and 10% OR
demand 8% and 9% with a collapse of grades G and H to F.

10% and 9% was then dropped with an understanding that we will undergo a process that will lead us to collapse grades H and G to F, identify the skills that are needed in F compared with the others, the costs related to doing this and the time-span.

“The issue of women did not feature properly!” Thandazile Blose, Ethekwini local. There were a number of demands that sought to address female comrades in the industry. * On maternity leave we have agreed that it will be 6 months fully paid and the employers will pay workers directly and claim back from the sick pay fund. * On childcare there were a number of demands. Employers rejected these demands on the basis that the childcare agreement that was signed 10 to 15 years ago has not been implemented. Numsa is partly to blame for non-implementation of this agreement. Employers were arguing that before we conclude any new agreement on this matter, it was imperative that we try and finalise the implementation of the childcare agreement that we concluded 10-15 years ago. When bargaining representatives proposed to the NEC that this demand be dropped, all regions agreed.

“Women expected a positive response with respect to HIV and ARVs.” Sheila King, Thekweni localHIV/ARVs is not a women’s demand. It is for all employees. We have agreed with employers that they will engage relevant government departments to make sure that ARVs are supplied in clinics that are operating inside companies and also make sure that mobile clinics are placed in industrial areas to allow comrades to go and get these ARVs next to their workplace and do CD4 count testing etc.

If you have concerns about the agreement or the process of signing it, write to Numsa News and Mthiyane will respond in the next issue.

Engineering workers march in Durban on July 11 W Aroun